When Atatürk and children are mentioned, “23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day” comes to mind. Atatürk, who gifted this holiday to children with a noble behavior that has no equal in the world, knows that the future of the country is in their hands.
All Turkish children are a part of it, its keeper.
We remember him with gratitude, respect and longing.
Atatürk’s Valuable Words About Children
“Children are the assurance of our future, they are our joy of life. It is our human duty to raise today’s children as tomorrow’s adults.”
“I advise the children of the country who are preparing for the future to work with full patience and fortitude by not giving up in the face of any difficulties, and to the parents of our children who are educated, not to hesitate to make any sacrifices for the completion of their offspring’s education.”
“Little ladies, little gentlemen! You are all a rose, star and light of fortune of the future. You are the one who will flood the country with the real light. Work accordingly by thinking how important and valuable you are. We expect a lot from you.”
“We cannot reach the goal by raising children alone! Children are the future. Children are the people who will make the future. But mothers, fathers and brothers who will raise these children who will make the future should be more or less enlightened in advance so that they can raise their children in a way that can serve this nation and country and be useful and beneficial! “At the very least, they should believe that it is necessary to educate them! Apart from schools, newspapers and small magazines should be published and distributed to villages. Our villagers do not read newspapers or magazines. Those who know should consider it a duty to collect those who do not know, to teach them how to read.”
“Children’s love is a need for human love.”
“I am very pleased and happy that one day I will leave the nation to the youth who understand me like you.”
“I am addressing the youth of the Republic of Turkey, especially today’s youth and growing children: The West was far behind you, the Turkish. This was the case in terms of ideas, in history. If the West is showing superiority in technique today, O Turkish Child, it is not your fault, it is yours. It is a result of the unforgivable negligence of the previous ones. Let me tell you, you are very clever!.. This is obvious. But forget your intelligence!.. Always be hardworking!”
“Whatever the limits of fortune may be, our children and young people who will grow up should be taught that it is necessary to fight against the elements that are hostile to Turkey’s independence, its foundation, its identity, and its national traditions.”
“We must now accustom our children to express their thoughts openly without hesitation, to defend what they sincerely believe, and to respect the sincere thoughts of others. At the same time, in their pure hearts, to arouse love and interest in truth, good and beautiful things, together with the love of the homeland, nation, family and citizen. must be worked on.”
“A clean generation is growing in the heart of the nation. I will leave this work (State of the Republic of Turkey) to him and I will not be behind me.”
“Great achievements are made with the help of outstanding children raised by precious mothers.”
“Young people! You are the ones who strengthen and sustain our courage. You, with the upbringing and culture you receive, will be the most valuable example of humanity and patriotism.”
“O rising new generation, the future is yours. We established the Republic; you are the one who will raise it and maintain it.”
“We will leave everything to the youth… They are the hope of the future, their bright flowers. All my hope is in youth.”
“Children should be protected from all kinds of neglect and abuse, they should be treated more privately than adults under any circumstances.”
Atatürk and the love of children cannot be explained only with the words he said. In some memories , the value Atatürk gave to children is understood. He always loved to chat with children. He would take care of many children closely, happily watching the sparkle in their eyes. That’s why we end our article with a memory that I loved the first time I read it.
Famous writer Ercüment Ekrem Talu relates the conversation between Atatürk and a child in the early days of the Republic as follows:
“One morning, we went for a walk together on the Çankaya ridges. Gazi caught a child who came near us. He stared at her face with his steely eyes, which impressed the world, and asked with a smile:
—What’s your name?
— Do you live in Çankaya?
– No. in Ayrancı.
“Do you go to school?” The boy tilted his head forward quickly.
— E… What are you studying at school?
— We read everything.
“Well, who am I, Jamil?” The boy swept his intelligent gaze over Ata.
“You are Gazi Pasha.” The father smiled.
– No, Jamil. I am not Gazi Pasha. You compared me.
— No, I did not compare. I know well, you are Gazi Pasha.
– “How do you know?” “Because,” said the boy confidently, “no one is like you.”
Steel eyes clouded over. Who knows what thoughts went through that unique head at that moment!
“Cemel, what will you be when you grow up?” The answer came out of that tiny mouth without hesitation:
– I will be a soldier.
– What will you do as a soldier?
“If the enemy ever sets foot on this land again, I will expel him from here.” The veteran didn’t say anything. He took little Cemil by the arms, lifted him, and placed a warm kiss on his forehead. Then he returned it to the game and turned to us as he continued on his way. He finished the sentence that started in his mind by addressing us:
— Yes… it is. A fresh generation grows from the bosom of the nation.
I’ll leave this work to him, I won’t be left behind .”
Our respect, gratitude and longing will always be with you. Your safety is with us.
Below is an emotional documentary about the lucky children who saw Atatürk:
This post is also available in: Türkçe